2021-07-29-Hatred (4 of 5) Composting Hatred
4:02PM Jul 29, 2021
So today I'm offering the fourth talk on, on the topic of ill will hatred and hostility. And the talk is not meant to be standing as a standalone talk. Certainly, it's meant to kind of be a continuation of the first three talks that set the ground for today. But also, it's kind of meant to be a continuation of, of a long period of time of focusing on mindfulness practice, Buddhist practice. And it's meant for people who have a strong grounding in mindfulness. And more specifically, it's this talk is kind of meant for this kind of little bit, if I may, I don't usually use this kind of language a little bit, we think of it as an advanced practice, in the sense that I, it really, really offering it either as a possibility in the future for some of you, or those of you who have already cultivated a good sense of how to practice mindfulness, because it builds on the capacity to be nonreactive. With our experience, to be in a certain way to get out to get out of the way, and to allow what's within us to be there, without being involved without picking it up, without getting caught in it, without fueling it. And without trying to get rid of it or resisting it or trying to fix it. And, and this, to learn this capacity and how to do it wisely, so that we don't cause harm in the world or harm to ourselves. I think of meditation practice as a wonderful laboratory for it the wonderful place, because the topic is Elwell, hostility, hatred, that's overlaps, but it's not synonymous, always with anger, sometimes with fury, and, and when we sit in meditation, we're kind of committed for the duration of the meditation practice, to not act on any of these impulses to sit with a body that's quiet and still. And we're also kind of committed to not intentionally and actively to be involved in the stories, the ideas, the planning, that are connected to these intense feelings of ill will, that might exist in us. And what the practices today in which every Thursday for these three weeks is composting, in these difficult states, or these intensities these things which in Buddhism, are considered poisons. So rather than condemning them, learning how to be present for them, so that they can be transformed, but not transformed, because we're in there tinkering with them, but the composting of them the way the whole psychophysical system can, has the has the capacity to move them to greater health. hostility, hatred, is a form of illness inside it because of illness in the sense that it's self harming. And, and can become kind of a in Buddhist ration a poison. But rather than condemning it, there is a we allow the inner system to heal it, to transform it, to compost it in a certain kind of way, by allowing it. So, and this is, sometimes it's most useful when, when there's no kind of no other choice because it's so strong, the anger, the hostility, and so, if we have the ability to kind of be present for it without getting entangled or caught by it, and just allow it something different can happen, then if we try to fix it, or if the self identifies with it, or pushes it away, or somehow the self is in relationship to it. So one of the advantages of this and one of the is that our sense of personal strength, even power, real vitality That moves through us in a wonderful way.
Is overlaps or is connected to hostility and anger, these are very powerful states, there's a lot of energy in them. And rather than feeling that rather, if we kind of squash or push away or deny these powerful feelings of love, we might also in some ways inadvertedly, kind of suppress the vitality, the energy, the strength, the confidence that can exist in us as well. The suppression of anger, the suppression of hostility, creates kind of a bottleneck or kind of a pressure cooker or unhealthy ways in which this life vitality can then explode later on or can fester within. And, and so one of the advantages of connecting with mindfully practicing you really careful, careful mindfulness with these strong kind of negative energies, harmful boss energies is to one of the advantages is it also connects us to this inner strength. And it's possible as we compost it and transform this negative energy in a sense, negative expression of this energy, it can be the energy can be reached, retain or be made available for positive things for healthy things for wholesome phenomenon. And because I think, in Buddhist practice, in a way over time, the idea is to become strong human beings to not have our inner strength or confidence or even courage be somehow stifled. But to actually be able to show up in the world, not aggressively or assertively, but you know, with, with a clear sense of stable, upright energy, presence. So composting hostility, in meditation. And so we have to first learn the capacity to be present and non reactively. To be present without being for or against, the sense of mindfulness becomes strong enough that it feels like it can open even to be present here for this. And when anger, hostility is strong, it's either I, it's best to look upon this as not, you know, just be able to do this continuously. Here's the open and just kind of, but rather, that it's sick or sequential. It's moment by moment, that so it's like, like, for we might recognize, oh, there's anger here are still at here. And, and then for a moment, open up and feel in your body, the what it feels like in the body, like let the body feel it. And, and as soon as you're in your body, the body is in the present moment. And the body is kind of a processing center. It's a way in which things can move and, and, and transform make space, like we're giving things breathing room for it to kind of relax, open up, sometimes it needs to get stronger. And, and then the thoughts are there. And, you know, we don't we're not defining the thinking. And, and think we have to make that the be all and end all to let go of the story, you know that when we're practicing this composting, it's, it's moment by moment, opening to what's here, or this is what's happening. And in those few moments that we can open, that's where the non reactivity is that where the freedom is, and then we have to do it again. And again, and sometimes we and we just kind of trust God opening again and again, and what we're doing there and that constantly Okay, here feel this, feel be present for this is where you are stepping away from being entangled, fueling, identifying with feeding, the anger, the hostility, the hatred, but to really give it room to as if it could take care of itself, it could transform itself. And so there's no need for shame. There's no need for hostility towards hostility. And, you know, I don't know if I want to say no need for fear. If there's healthy fear definitely around hostility and anger, fear of causing harm. But there's also kind of no need to kind of I don't know how to say this,
be somehow caught in the fear of it. There's just here, here. And, and sometimes it takes a while for things to settle down, open up transform. And on the way, we might realize that the hostility, the anger, as I said yesterday, is a symptom is a messenger almost, for something deeper inside of us. And by making room for it, something in the cracks of the of the of the ill will, can show that there's things like fear or hurt underneath it. Or, and then if we open to that, then that itself begins to show that there's something deeper still. And underneath that there's a sense of maybe of care, compassion, a sense of goodwill, or tenderness. There's a whole other world deep inside waiting for us here. That sometimes is the is the is the very thing that's been challenged or overlooked or closed down around which the very closeness to our tenderness or peacefulness, or love, or compassion, is part of what gives the some of the negative power to hostility, and to be able to discover this reservoir of peace, of compassion and care tenderness within. And then that's where the energy, that's where the strength can flow through and be here for and, and then the energy of our life is not squashed or diminished. But it can flow now through goodwill, instead of through ill will, and a goodwill and a compassion that may be in the circumstances, needs to address the situations in the world, that are the conditions for anger, hostility, there is injustice in the world there is you know, it's there is injustice and harm that's being caused in the world and to ourselves. And so how to respond to that, or how to protect ourselves from that, how to address that. With, with this sense of confidence, and courage, and uprightness of this deeper vitality, that, you know, that's somehow it gets skewed, or becomes more dangerous if that energy is channeled through hostility and anger. But this is not to do this practice of composting and transforming is not meant to be an avoidance of addressing the issues of our life and around us, but rather to do so from a different place where we're rooted in the wholesome treasures, wholesome. roots have roots inside of us, were rooted in generosity and love and compassion and wisdom. But in a way that people feel Oh, that's that there's strength there, there's a real kind of chance to meet someone and be with someone who is has, you know, is is confident here and is not is not diminishing themselves. So, so I think that I feel a little bit, you know, cautious in what I've offered here. You know, that it needs this, what I'm saying today needs to be done with great care and, and certainly compassion and gentleness, and very careful monitoring of it. So that this allowing and being present for things like hatred and hostility and your will, very careful so that doesn't get stronger than we've then we can somehow manage. And the the standard for knowing when is strong and we can manage is that
they it takes over so that when we take it open her eyes and take a deep breath. We can't just feel grounded again or can't feel kind of stable. And one of the ways of practicing this Composting is periodically the meditation to pull ourselves out of it. Look around, take a deep breath some Whoa, shake it off, and then dip down again, if it seems appropriate, but we don't want to let that pressure build and build and build because we're supposed to just kind of stick through to through it to the end of the meditation, that's usually not so useful. It's useful this standard is to do adjust well enough, just good enough of and trust that over time, the composting will happen. not insist that has to happen in one sitting, but rather could do it just good enough. And when you feel like it's getting the upper hand a little bit, then take a deep breath, open your eyes, maybe even get up and go for a walk and then come back is very important to kind of feel that you have some strength in not being pulled into it. Too much. So composting, transforming. And so we have one more talk tomorrow that's related to liberation, the liberation from an of ill will hatred and so thank you all very much and and I look forward to our time tomorrow.